COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The costs of the war in Iraq have outweighed the benefits of removing Saddam Hussein, former U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix told a Danish newspaper.
"It's positive that Saddam and his bloody regime is gone, but when one weighs the costs, it's clearly the negative aspects that dominate," Blix told daily Jyllands-Posten in an interview.
The Swedish diplomat has criticized the United States and Britain for going to war without U.N. approval rather than allowing his team to continue its hunt for banned weapons.
In the interview, Blix said the war had contributed to a destabilization of the Middle East and a move away from democracy in the region, adding that even though Iraqis had been spared life under a dictator, it was at too high a cost.
"Bush declared war as a part of the U.S. war on terror, but instead of limiting the effects of terror, the war has laid the foundation for even more terror," Blix said.
Blix was scorned by the United States and Britain for failing to conclude Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction ahead of their invasion. But a year on, no such weapons have been found.
Blix, a lawyer and former Swedish foreign minister who at 75 now serves as chairman of Sweden's Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, retired from the United Nations last June.